Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Doctor Office Torture

Having spent what seemed like 7,000 hours in two doctors' offices with a 19-month-old last week, I think I can safely say that a root canal without anesthesia performed by a blind Tourette's patient would quite possibly be a more pleasant experience than what I endured.  I'm sure that anyone who has ever taken a toddler to the doctor can sympathize with me.

Bug's appointment on Tuesday was with his new non-Medicaid (HOLLA!!!) primary care doctor, so of course they handed me a stack of incredibly detailed paperwork to complete in the waiting room.  I tucked us into the thankfully empty children's corner and tried to contain him while I spent entirely too long filling out those forms.

With his uncanny ability to know the precise moment that Mommy is distracted, Bug took the opportunity to attempt to:

  • climb every empty chair in our corner
  • move furniture
  • pull out every book and magazine he could find
  • "straighten" all of the art on the walls

Then the little toot noticed the giant aquarium on the other end of the packed waiting room and took off running for it the second I went to sign my name on one of the 10,000 forms.  That's when Bug realized that there was so much more to offer in that room than what our little corner had provided, and I spent the next 30 minutes attempting to distract him with snacks, his sippy cup, books, anything to get him to stay close me. I would have given him a Sharpie and let him color on the walls if I'd had one available!  At one point, I had my clipboard in hand completing forms and had Bug securely locked in "leglock" of sorts just to keep him from running up to complete strangers and shouting "HI!"  

All I could think of as I called out Bug's name for the millionth time was this skit that Bill Cosby had done about 4-year-old "Jeffrey."

Kind of like "Jeffrey" -

Yes...  That was my son...  "Jeffrey."  I was shocked that I didn't hear applause when the nurse finally called us back to the exam room!

Any hopes that I had that waiting in the exam room with Bug would be easier were quickly dashed when he realized that he could open the door all by himself.  I sat on the floor with my back to that door filling out even more forms as Bug took the opportunity to explore his new surroundings.  He once again pulled out every book, magazine, and puzzle in the room.  He pushed the doctor's rolling stool around the room until he realized that it swiveled.  Then he laid on top of it on his stomach and spun around and around in circles.  He located the brand new Kleenex box as well as the trash can.  I am fully expecting a bill for tissues and a new puzzle as I am fairly certain an entire box of Kleenex and a puzzle piece or two ended up in there.  He found the crinkle paper on the exam table and tried to "mummify" himself.  I believe he spotted the computer just as the doctor arrived.  At least that was one crisis averted!

As soon as the doctor walked in, Bug sat quietly in the corner putting together a puzzle (the one without the missing pieces hidden in the trash can).  She probably took one look at me...  the out of breath, perspiration-drenched, disheveled mess with the glazed-over expression, rocking herself back and forth in the fetal position...  and thought to herself that I probably needed medical intervention more than the adorable, well-behaved toddler who smiled up at her with his big hazel eyes and adorable grin.  I apologized for his behavior earlier, and she just smiled and nodded with that "knowing" look that car mechanics get when you tell them your car is acting up and it drives perfectly for them.

Bug was an angel throughout the entire exam.  He got his 18-month shots like a trooper, and then my little terror in size 5 toddler shoes reached into the diaper bag, grabbed his sparkly pink Mr. Flamingo Bird, held my hand, and we walked out the door as he exclaimed "bye-bye!" to every person we passed along the way to our car.  Apparently the sight of a little boy with a sparkly pink flamingo in tow goes a long way towards restoring peace and tranquility where chaos once reigned.  The other patients who will forevermore remember my child's name just as Mr. Cosby will remember "Jeffrey" were all smiles and gushing all over my son as we walked towards our car.

...where he promptly fell asleep with Mr. Flamingo Bird in his arms.


Anonymous said...

Yeah. These toddler days are not easy, for sure.

Anonymous said...

You should check out Universal Healthcare Access. $15/month gets you 24/7 access to a doctor by phone or computer. It's a lifesaver for a mom. No more waiting for hours in a doctor's office for small things; as a mom, I know using those hours for something else is definitely better (;

www.universalhealthcareaccess has more info

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